Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Satay with Red Curry Peanut Sauce with Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

Stay tuned! It's Cookie Bookie all next week.....
When she's here for a visit, my kind little sister (whose nickname is Helper Heidi) insists upon making dinner for my family on the nights I teach at the college. I try to resist, but it's futile with Helper Heidi. Never mind the fact that she just had her fourth child and has her own hands full; if someone has a need, she becomes a super hero, able to leap small buildings in a single bound. If you're not careful, she'll offer to babysit your children, feed you dinner, clean your house, and do your taxes so that you can take a nap. Do you have a helper Heidi in your life? I'd offer to lend you mine, but she's kinda busy for the next couple of decades.
Last time Heidi was visiting, she made the most fantastic chicken curry on one of my school nights (post coming soon). Did I mention she buys her own groceries when she makes dinner for your family, too? She insists upon it, even with threatened with hard kicks on the backside. For her chicken curry, she bought a little bottle of red curry paste, a wee puny bottle that cost almost $4.00. I've always passed it up, too cheap to indulge. But since she left the jar in my fridge, I'm afraid I've become quite enamored with the stuff. As soon as it's gone, I'm running back to the market for more. Even if they raise the price, I'll remain a loyal customer.
I need it for everything now, especially this: Chicken Satay with Red Curry Peanut Sauce and Sweet and Sour Cucumbers. This one is slightly adapted from Family Fun magazine's "Homemade Takeout" section a few months ago. Tender little pieces of chicken, soaked in a slightly spicy coconut marinade, are grilled and served with a curry-licious peanut sauce and zesty cucumbers. Even though satay is traditionally served as an appetizer, I added some jasmine rice to make it a meal. It's absolutely fantastic. Boy am I glad that Helper Heidi left that curry paste in my fridge. But I should be careful what I write. When she finds out how much I like it, she'll probably try to buy me a whole case. And gift wrap it, too.
Money Saving Tips: You can swap out the curry paste for red curry powder, which is also delicious. Be sure to load up on chicken on sale and stock that freezer. You can also swap out whole milk for the coconut milk; it's not quite as tasty but it'll work in a pinch.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Estimated Cost: $7.00 for four servings
1 pound boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red curry paste (or substitute powder)
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
Step 1 For easier slicing, place the meat in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, cumin, and curry paste in a large bowl and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Step 2 Slice the meat into thin strips about 3/4-inch thick and 3 inches long. Add the meat to the coconut milk marinade and refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours. Step 3 Preheat the broiler or a grill. Thread 1 or 2 pieces of meat onto each skewer. Grill or broil the meat for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until it's cooked through. (I removed the meat from the skewers and placed it on toothpicks.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red curry paste (or sub 1/2 tablespoon powder), or more to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup peanut butterIn a wsmall saucepan, combine milk, sugar, curry paste, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook for two minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in peanut butter. Cook for three more minutes. If peanut butter makes sauce too thick, add more milk or water by the tablespoonfull.
Sweet and Sour Cucumbers
Estimated Cost: $2.00
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium cucumbers cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Step 1 In a small, nonreactive saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Step 2 Remove the pan from the heat and let the dressing cool to room temperature. Step 3 Place the cucumbers and chilies in a bowl and mix them with the dressing. Sprinkle the cilantro on top just before serving. Makes 2 2/3 cups.
Up Next
Spicy Green Beans with Pork


VeggieGirl said...

Oh my, that sauce sounds EXQUISITE!! Love the spiciness going on.

Have fun with your sister! :)

The Morris Family said...

We heart curry at our house, so I'm pretty sure the husband will love this recipe!

Thanks and keep 'em coming!

Marie said...

Erin, I've been away too long! That chicken satay looks gorgeous! Love the idea of a red curry peanut sauce. How delicious!

Leslie said...

too cute and what a yummy meal

The Japanese Redneck said...

Looks good. Bet it was all very tasty.


Mary Ann said...

red curry paste is my best friend. I love it. This looks amazing! What a great sister.

The Blonde Duck said...

Where does one find Helper Heidis?

Catherine said...

You're so lucky to have Helper Heidi there. She's pretty lucky to have you, too. =) The chicken looks delicious and I love peanut sauce and I think I would love the rice with the peanut sauce with the rice. Thanks for sharing, Prudy. I almost typed it Purdy, but I guess that applies, too. =D

Amber said...

I love chicken satay! My favorite Thai restaurant is a 45 minute drive away, every time I go I think "I can make this! I'm sure of it" But then I chicken out and drive the 45 minutes to buy it. I think I'll give this a try. Thanks to Helper Heidi!

Sam and Carmin said...

Made this (again) today. Loved every lick.